The World of Ice and Fire by George R.R. MartinErr… winter isn’t coming? At least for another year. That’s the appropriate joke, right?

It’s been reported by Elio Garcia, co-author of the book, that The World of Ice and Fire, a companion book/encyclopedia about George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, slated for a Fall 2013 release, has been delayed by a year. Garcia says,

Yes, [The World of Ice and Fire] won’t be out this year… but that’s because it’s becoming rather cooler. More pages, more new history and details, more art. Like the story of the fall of the Tarbecks and the Reynes, the surprising person from whom the Lannisters are descended, more history of the Vale and the arrival of the Andals, and a good deal more. We’re working quick as we can, but there’s also more art to commission and that means it’d be safest to aim for next year.

In the past, these volumes, related to Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time and Terry Brooks’Shannara series, have been released to some criticism, much directed toward the poor art included inside. In addition, these books were published midway through the series and feature large gaps and lack coverage of the later volumes, which is a shame. This will, of course, be the same here for A Song of Ice and Fire, but an additional year will at least give contributors some extra room to wriggle and, hopefully, allow the book to age a little better than its predecessors.

Adam Whitehead of the Wertzone suggests that the twelve month delay, rather than a shorter delay simply to complete the extra content, is to ensure that the book remains in its pre-Christmas publication slot, when coffee table-style books have the best chance of selling copies. With Game of Thrones continuing to break records for HBO, one can’t see the popularity of Martin’s work waning anytime soon, so, hopefully, this delay is for the best for everyone involved. Except those salivating fans who have to wait another year to get the book in their hands.